It’s Day 2 of Women’s Money Week and the topic today is relationships and money. Today I’m going to talk about managing your money when you’ve just moved in with your partner. As you may already know, my BF and I moved into together this past September.
We’d been together for 4 1/2 years at that point and moving in together was a really big step for us. I think I’ve mentioned before that I come from a Catholic background, so shacking up with your boyfriend is a definite no-no in my family. At the start of our relationship I really wanted to keep that promise and wait to move in together until after we were married.
Then again, I definitely wasn’t in a hurry to get hitched either. My parents had gotten married very young and very quickly, and although they are about to celebrate 30 years together this summer, I knew I wanted to date someone for at least 5 years before walking down the aisle.
Anywho, after I graduated university I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just jumping from my parents’ place into my boyfriend’s. Just a bit too Jane Austen for my taste. I also really wanted to experience living on my own first, so I told my BF I needed at least another year before we could start looking for a place together, and I’m so glad I did. Despite having some not so good roommate experiences, I had the time of my life with my last roommate.
Once our year lease was up, my roommate was off to work on a cruise ship and my BF and I started apartment hunting. That is a blog post unto itself, so I’ll leave that story for another time. After we signed the lease on our current place, besides figuring out what pieces of furniture we still needed to get and who should clean the bathroom first (I did, it was disgusting) we knew the most important thing we needed to talk about was money.
Since we both had qualms about getting a joint bank account before we were married, we decided the best route would be to keep everything separate. Personally, I highly recommend this to all couples who have just started living together; not just to lessen all those “You spent how much on what?” arguments, but because, let’s be honest, there’s always the possibility that you could break up, and do you really want your emotional-wreck of an ex having access to your bank account? I didn’t think so.
After agreeing that keeping our money separate was a good idea, we still had to figure out who would pay what bills. The only joint bills we have are cable, internet, electricity and rent. Luckily, heat and hot water are included in our rent so that makes things a bit simpler.
We decided it would be easiest if one of us took care of physically paying the bills, and my BF said he’d do it since he set up our hydro account and he just transferred over his cable and internet from his old place to our new place. So, every month he emails me a list of what all of our bills cost so we can both keep a record of everything, then I just transfer the money directly into his chequing account. Easy-peasy.
As for groceries and any household items, we just keep all of our receipts and then I do the math on who owes who what at the end of every month. And that’s it really. Everything else we buy separately, but if something comes up then we have a conversation about whether we wanna buy it on our own or go halfsies on it. Basically, good communication is key to a healthy relationship.
When you just moved in with your partner, how did you divide/manage your money together?